Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

Australia/Sydney-based award winning educator, Chris Betcher, talks about the long-term advantages for students of connecting and collaborating globally.

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Comment by Julie Lindsay on December 2, 2012 at 10:40am

Hi Flat Classrooms members, we hope you enjoy this video which is the keynote to our Flat Classroom Project 12-2, created by Australian Chris Betcher. We welcome your responses and conversation.

Title: The Flat Classroom Project - Taking the Long View

When did you discover that the world was flat? When did you learn that the classroom in the next building is really no further away than the classroom on the other side of the world? That whatever cultural differences we have are insignificant compared to the things we share in common?
I was lucky to have discovered how flat the world could be when my students and I did our first global collaborative project way back in 1996. Over the next few years we participated in lots of successful global projects, and the lessons I learned through those experiences permanently changed the way I viewed learning, teaching and education in general. I saw firsthand how powerful it could be to work across the boundaries of time and location, to connect with others and share our learning on a global scale.
In this keynote, I’d like to offer the long view of working in a flat world. I’d like to share some insights into how it changed the way I view education, and how it changed my teaching career. I’d also like to introduce you to some of my ex-students, who will share the effect that being part of these global collaborative projects has had on their lives almost 17 years later.

Guiding Questions:

  1. What is your story of global collaboration? As a teacher? As a student?
  2. How important is it to have a global collaborative experience before leaving high school?
  3. In the school of the future, do you think ALL school levels (K-12) should have a global collaborative experience? Why?
  4. What are the advantages for later in life of being globally minded and understanding the world through connections with others?

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